PROVO — An Orem man could face the death penalty if convicted in the March 13 killing of a Provo resident.
Jesse William Gourdin, 21, has been charged with aggravated murder in 4th District Court for allegedly shooting and killing 24-year-old Gustavo Ramirez. The charge is enhanced to a capital offense because the killing was gang-motivated and carried out with the help of other gang members, court documents indicate.
Brayden Kenneth Marshall, 18, of Provo, Maria Guadalupe Hernandez, 18, of Sandy, and 34-year-old Eagle Mountain man Jerry Otis Hawley are charged with murder in 4th District Court in connection with the same shooting. The charges, filed Tuesday, allege they and Gourdin were there to take a metal box full of cash and to recover a backpack that Hernandez had said belonged to her.
The group of four drove to Ramirez's home in Provo on March 13 with the intent of robbing him, court documents say. Gourdin, the alleged gunman, fired "several" shots, the charges state. Police reported Hawley, who allegedly drove the group there, waited in the vehicle with Hernandez.
Wearing bandanas over their faces, Gourdin and Marshall tried unsuccessfully to get into the front door of the home at 71 N. 400 West, then went around the residence, forced the back door open and ran inside, according to court documents.
"Almost immediately upon entering, Gourdin fired several rounds from (a handgun), killing (Ramirez)," the charges state. "Others inside the home scattered to seek cover."
Those shots were fired before Marshall himself made his way into the home, court documents say. Gourdin allegedly also fired additional shots after exiting the home.
With Hawley still driving, the group fled in their vehicle to Marshall's home, the charges state.
Ramirez's girlfriend took him to Utah Valley Hospital, where he was later declared dead, Provo police said last week. Investigators were sent to his home, where they reported finding plentiful forensic evidence, including blood, shell casings and bullet holes.
Police also interviewed "victims that were present at the residence at the time of the shooting," who helped identify the people involved, court documents say.
Marshall, Hernandez and Hawley were all arrested two days after the shooting. Gourdin was arrested without incident a day after that in Farmington. All remained behind bars Thursday at the Utah County Jail.
Gourdin carried out the killing using a gun belonging to Marshall, police have said. Marshall allegedly told police initially that he was aware of the plot, but that Gourdin had only borrowed his gun and that he wasn't outside Ramirez's home at the time of the shooting. Hernandez also originally denied being there, police reported.
"They later told the truth ... and admitted they knew about the money and the home and had gone there with the intention of robbing the occupants," court documents say.
Gourdin threatened to kill Marshall and Hernandez "if they ratted him out," the charges state.
Gourdin and Marshall are also charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated burglary, both first-degree felonies. Hernandez and Hawley are charged with robbery, a first-degree felony and attempted burglary, a second-degree felony.
Gourdin is additionally charged with two counts of retaliation against a witness, victim or informant, a third-degree felony, while Hernandez is charged with possession or use of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor.
Several of the charges against the group are enhanced because of gang involvement, court documents indicate.
"The defendants are members and/or are associated with the Bloods street gang, and the victim of the homicide and others inside the home are members and/or are associated with the Florencia Gang, and the defendants' alleged conduct is consistent with gang activity," charging documents state.
Hawley's initial court date is scheduled for Monday, while the other three are set to make their next court appearances Wednesday.
Gourdin's criminal history in Utah includes convictions for assault by a prisoner in November 2016 and possession of drug paraphernalia earlier this month, court records show. He also has convictions for drug possession and theft.
Marshall has no convictions in his adult criminal history in Utah. He was charged with misdemeanor drug possession on March 3 and a misdemeanor retail theft case against him was dismissed early last year.
Hernandez pleaded no contest to a pair of drug paraphernalia cases on March 16. She was also charged on Feb. 6 with misdemeanor retail theft and misdemeanor drug possession, according to court records. That case is ongoing.
Hawley's prior criminal record in Utah includes convictions for unlawful detention, DUI, attempted obstruction of justice and disorderly conduct. He was charged last month with misdemeanor drug possession and drug paraphernalia possession in a case that remains unresolved, court records show.